[Pnews] South Carolina freedom fighters call for National Prisoners Strike Aug. 21-Sept. 9, 2018

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 26 10:03:03 EDT 2018


  South Carolina freedom fighters call for National Prisoners Strike
  Aug. 21-Sept. 9, 2018

April 25, 2018

/Introduction: On April 15, a rebellion erupted at South Carolina’s Lee 
Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison, where 44 officers 
were guarding 1,583 prisoners. A quarter of all prison jobs in the state 
are unfilled. /

/Seven prisoners died – Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, 
Michael Milledge, Cornelius Quantral McClary, Damonte Marquez Rivera, 
Raymond Angelo Scott and Corey Scott – and 22 were seriously injured. 
Ironically, this is being called the deadliest prison violence in a 
quarter century, since the Lucasville Uprising on April 11-21, 1993. 
Lucasville survivors on death row are currently on hunger strike./

/In an op-ed to the Charlotte Observer, Isaac Bailey, a member of the 
Observer Editorial Board, wrote what he’d learned from his brother, a 
long time prisoner at Lee: “Officials say the riot was caused by a turf 
war over cell phones and other contraband. But James had been detailing 
to me for more than a year the more likely culprit: deteriorating 
conditions at Lee. The staffing levels are so low, officers don’t make 
required rounds. That left prisoners inside their cells longer each day. 
Some weeks, they got to shower twice; other times they went without 
showers for up to nine days. Prisoners knew officers would not come to 
the rescue if they were attacked – which provided a major incentive to 
join gangs as a means of self-preservation./

/“Productive programs that can stimulate prisoners’ minds and bodies – a 
real public service, given that most prisoners are eventually freed – 
have been curtailed. Some prisoners have gone for up to a year without 
sneakers. There has been a long-term water outage in part of the prison, 
according to another prisoner I spoke with. Those small indignities add 
up, yet some officials feign surprise when those treated inhumanely 
behave in inhumane ways./

/“After every incident, prisoners are locked down longer, which leads to 
more resentment and unrest and more violence, a vicious cycle.”/

/ABC reports that prisoners cannot even escape the violence by locking 
themselves in their cells. “ALL of the doors to the cells are broken,” a 
prisoner wrote./

/A quarrel over contraband having been blamed for sparking the 
rebellion, on April 18, 14 former guards, a nurse, a groundskeeper and 
service workers were indicted for taking bribes, wire fraud and 
smuggling cellphones and cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana and 
alcohol into prisons from April 2015 to December 2017./

Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a 
nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional 
Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades 
lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been 
avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by 
mass incarceration and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded 
in our nation’s penal ideology.

These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to 
rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.

      Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a
      nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional
      Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina.

These are the NATIONAL DEMANDS of the men and women in federal, 
immigration and state prisons:

 1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison
    policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
 2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any
    place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the
    prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
 3. Rescission of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, allowing imprisoned
    humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of
    their rights.
 4. Rescission of the Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform
    Act so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation
    and parole. No human shall be sentenced to death by incarceration or
    serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
 5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing and
    parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no
    longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white,
    which is a particular problem in Southern states.
 6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and
    Brown humans.
 7. No denial of access to rehabilitation programs for imprisoned humans
    at their place of detention because of their label as a violent
 8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more
    rehabilitation services.
 9. Reinstatement of Pell grant eligibility to prisoners in all US
    states and territories.
10. Recognition of voting rights for all confined citizens serving
    prison sentences, pretrial detainees and so-called “ex-felons.”
    Their votes must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices


These undated photos from the South Carolina Department of Corrections 
show, top row from left, Corey Scott, Eddie Casey Gaskins, Raymond 
Angelo Scott and Damonte Rivera; bottom row from left, Michael Milledge, 
Cornelius McClary and Joshua Jenkins. The seven were killed and 22 
prisoners wounded in a rebellion at the Lee Correctional Institution 
late Sunday and early Monday, April 15-16, 2018, in Bishopville, S.C.

We all agree to spread this strike throughout the prisons of Amerikkka! 
 From Aug. 21 to Sept. 9, 2018, men and women in prisons across the 
nation will strike in the following manner:

 1. Work Strikes: Prisoners will not report to assigned jobs. Each place
    of detention will determine how long its strike will last. Some of
    these strikes may translate into a local list of demands designed to
    improve conditions and reduce harm within the prison.
 2. Sit-ins: In certain prisons, men and women will engage in peaceful
    sit-in protests.
 3. Boycotts: All spending should be halted. We ask those outside the
    walls not to make financial judgments for those inside. Men and
    women on the inside will inform you if they are participating in
    this boycott. We support the call of the Free Alabama Movement
    Campaign to “Redistribute the Pain” 2018, as Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun,
    formerly known as Melvin Ray, has laid out – with the exception of
    refusing visitation. See these principles described here:
 4. Hunger Strikes: Men and women shall refuse to eat.


Isaac J. Bailey, a member of the Charlotte Observer Editorial Board, has 
been hearing horror stories for years from his brother, who is 
incarcerated there. – Photo: Steve Jessmore, The Sun News

How you can help:

  * Make the nation take a look at our demands. Demand action on our
    demands by contacting your local, state and federal political
    representatives with these demands. Ask them where they stand.
  * Spread the strike and word of the strike in every place of detention.
  * Contact a supporting local organization to see how you can be
    supportive. If you are unsure of who to connect with, email
    millionsforprisonersmarch at gmail.com
    <mailto:millionsforprisonersmarch at gmail.com>.
  * Be prepared by making contact with people in prison, family members
    of prisoners and prisoner support organizations in your state to
    assist in notifying the public and media on strike conditions.
  * Assist in our announced initiatives to have the votes of people in
    jail and prison counted in elections.

Media inquiries should be directed to prisonstrikemedia at gmail.com 
<mailto:prisonstrikemedia at gmail.com>.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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